With the New York Knicks finalizing their agreement Friday to have Phil Jackson head their front office, a truth was revealed across the country that seemed unthinkable not long ago: Kobe Bryant has lost his clout with the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite all that campaigning with fellow Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson for the return of the "Zen Master" and all those protests of disappointment and frustration in the post-Jerry Buss era that looks destined to become the worst in the franchise's storied history, Bryant's once-powerful voice fell on the deaf ears of the Buss brothers who are cutting off their proverbial nose to spite their fans' purple-and-gold faces. Again. "It would be hard for me to understand that happening twice," Bryant, who is out for the rest of the season with a left knee fracture, said Wednesday in reference to Jackson's near-return as coach in November 2012 and now this. "It would be tough. I don't really get it." Oh, how 2007 must seem like so long ago in Bryant's maddened mind. Those were the days when Bryant could rattle cages and expect results, when his trade demand that played out in the most dramatic of fashions resulted in the acquisition of Pau Gasol and a return to the title-contending status he was taught to expect by the late Jerry Buss. But the problem that isn't going away anytime soon now is that the two-year, $48.5 million extension given to Bryant, 35, in late November was not hush money. He'll keep banging on his bosses and calling a spade a spade from now until his end. As well he should. The Tuesday news conference should be in Los Angeles, not New York. Say what you will about the Knicks and all their well-chronicled warts. But as the Lakers careen even deeper into their abyss with the aging and hobbled Bryant as their lead recruiter and widely criticized Jim Buss as their chief decision maker, they were even more in need of a game-changing addition to the upper ranks than their flagship franchise counterparts in the Eastern Conference.
No Phil shows Kobe doesn't run Lakers
USA Today | Mar 16